In October 1992 while on his first visit to Eastern Russia, the Holy
Spirit spoke to Noel Morris, giving him a burden of the need for
teaching the hundreds of young Russians he saw coming to Jesus.
After meeting pastors in Vladivostok who had a similar vision to train
and send out Russian workers, plans for FAITH IN ACTION were formed.
In January 1994 Rev Des Short from Faith Bible College in New Zealand
came to Vladivostok, and agreed to assist with curriculum and teachers.
In October 1999 we were successful in buying the remains of a Russian
Army Camp as a home for the school and the local church. We own some 17
buildings (or the building sites which can be rebuilt) and 7 Hectares
of land on a long-term lease. One building is used for the school, and
the "Church of the Living God" has renovated one of the
larger buildings for the church auditorium.
IN ACTION is still one of the few residential Bible Schools in the Far
East of Russia, and to date about 200 Graduates have been sent out into
all kinds of ministry, for example: pastoring, planting pioneer village
churches, evangelistic teams, apologetics, rehabilitation, prison
ministry, and children's ministry.
THE HISTORY cont.
In February 2003 just as the semester was beginning, 4 car loads of FSB
(formerly KGB) lawyers and others arrived at the school's campus with
the intent of closing down the school (and possibly the Church too).
They had a large dossier on FAITH IN ACTION with copies of letters,
faxes and e-mails. They monitored phone conversations, interviewed
neighbours, and harassed the Pastor and his staff for several weeks.
In Russia the 1997 Religion Law allows for "teaching of religion and
the religious upbringing of followers" in churches, but "professional
religious education for preparing clergy and religious personnel" is
subject to State licensing. There is provision for "Seminaries" on one
hand, and in-church training on the other, but no concept for the
in-between Bible Schools and Bible Colleges.
21st March the case was heard in the Primorski Krai Regional Court and
the judge ruled against FAITH IN ACTION for "conducting educational
activity without a suitable licence".
The case was
appealed in the Supreme Court in Moscow on 20th May. Although being
defended by Vladimir Ryakhovsky, one of the best Christian Lawyers in
Russia, three judges upheld the previous ruling to close the Bible
But FAITH IN
ACTION has not died, rather
it has been "re-categorized" as a "training course" in the Church. This
is the reason we have changed our terminology, although our purposes
remain the same. The same students, same teachers, same staff, same
location, but now it is known as "Faith in Action Training Course"